Powerhouse singer-songwriter Tori Kelly marks the beginning of a new, happier chapter of her life with the release of Solitude, a five-track EP with four originals and one cover. The EP was self-recorded at home during the spring 2020 quarantine. The process is reminiscent of Handmade Songs by Tori Kelly in which she recorded, self-produced, and wrote in her childhood bedroom. For long-time fans, it brings back memories as it’s a nod to her roots.
The EP is largely influenced by both the ’90s R&B music she grew up listening to and her early days as a sincere, guitar-centered singer-songwriter. “Value” opens with her signature guitar strumming which is then followed by some laidback trap beats. She began to pen it at home until London-based producer Monro (Jhene Aiko) reached out with some beats to write to, and one of them fit the song like a puzzle piece. Kelly sings about knowing your worth beyond a relationship. It could also be interpreted to one’s own personal situation.
“Don’t Take Me Home” is on the mellow side featuring stacked harmonies, a Tori Kelly signature. She describes the highs of a relationship and being head-over-heels for someone. Her vocals are absolutely breathtaking- it will give you chills.
“Time Flies,” is Kelly’s cover of Drake’s song. At first listen, when it was initially released as an instant-grat with pre-order, I thought this was an original. She put her own, fantastic take on it which doesn’t disappoint.
“Unbothered” is sure to be a fan-favorite and might be one of her best songs to date. It’s R&B perfection and sounds like something Ariana Grande would sing except with a Tori twist. She shows off a sassier side with the summery, throwback track, and features light rapping in the bridge. It was produced remotely by Jorgen Odegard (P!nk). Specifically at the moment, “Woke up this way / Might just spread the good news / Just because I want to,” makes you feel optimistic about the future despite what’s currently happening in the world.
Kelly slows things down and wraps the EP up with the tender ballad “Glad.” The songstress produced, wrote, and recorded this track in her home studio. It’s an emotional ode to husband, Andre Murillo about his patience and grace while handling her imperfections.
Solitude paves the way for a new musical direction. It’s not every day that you find a vocalist that can effortlessly jump into any genre. There’s no one out there doing it like she is. Tori Kelly is the definition of a true superstar with her vulnerable lyrics and genuine personality.
This is a beautiful beginning, to an even more creatively free future.